iDiva: Fashion Meme Accounts to Follow Right Now

The hustle of life may get you down, and that's when memes come to your rescue. We're living in times when there is a meme for any and everything. Caught your partner cheating? The internet has a meme. Love food to no limits? They have a meme. Over obsessed with Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai? Yes, there is a meme for that too. Like me, most of you may agree that we are guilty of sharing memes for sole reason: they're hilarious! Even if you are not feeling that emotion at that moment, somewhere in the past there was a point when you did and hence the share.

On one of our meme-stalking sprees we chanced upon a host of Instagram accounts that show the funnier side of fashion. Here's a round up of the ones that cracked us up!

An internet artist and rapper, Ka5sh is an American who is famous for mocking the local streetwear community. He is also well-known for canonising memes as a vernacular version of contemporary art.

An internet artist and rapper, Ka5sh is an American who is famous for mocking the local streetwear community. He is also well-known for canonising memes as a vernacular version of contemporary art.

The Blow Up: Interview: Ka5sh on becoming the worlds most famous meme maker, his new album, No Jumper, +more

Man, Ka5sh is definitely one of the rarest beings to grace the internet. It’s funny because even though Ka5sh has gone super viral in the past year or so for his many L.A. ventures, I’ve actually known him for a couple years since he was in North Carolina group Weirdo, and hit me up on Twitter showing me some music. Even back then I knew he had some kind of unique movement behind him and I actually conducted an interview with him and the Weirdo guys. After being Facebook friends for about another year and literally crying from laughing so hard at the wild shit he he would post, Ka5sh announced that he was dropping a line of t-shirts that were a cat face that read “Supreme Witch Pussy”. Obviously I HAD to buy one (and am confident I’m the only person in Seattle that owns one), and he announced he was en route to L.A. It was just a few months after he touched down that I witnessed his sudden rise to the top of the meme game, including making the latest viral sensation “I fw the vision”. It was only natural that I had to give Ka5sh a call and get his first hand tales on everything from the beginning days of Weirdo, all the way up until now with him beefing with Father John Misty, and taking over the No Jumper twitter.

P.S. I made his song “I’m Depressed” my “Anthem” for my Tinder account so I recommend listening to that.

You probably explain this all the time but what made you decide to put the spelling of your name “Ka5sh“?

Ohhh, it was because back in the day, back in like 2012 when I first started rapping I was a nerd and went by the name “Kash Ketchum”. The older I got I thought Kash Ketchum was corny. So I watched this movie Band Slam with Vanessa Ann Hudgens, it’s about some kids who wanted to be in a battle of the bands and stuff like that. Vanessa Ann Hudgens character’s name was 5am (pronounced “Sam”) and the 5 was silent. She had a “5” in her name and I was like “Wtf that’s sick, I wanna do that!”, then I just threw that “5” in there. Everyone already called me Kash for short so I figured if I’m gonna rap I could just go by Kash, but I can’t just be Kash, I have to do something special to it so I put a “5” in my name. There it is, now I’m Ka5sh with a silent 5.

Originally you’re a part of rap group out of North Carolina, Weirdo. Can you tell us a bit about Weirdo and Trash mountain?

Yeah Weirdo was a punk-rap trio. It was me, technically there was 4 people with Sober our DJ, but it was me, Wasif Allah, and Davey. Davey ended up quitting in 2013-2014 because he wanted to be a doctor and I think he’s going through med school right now. So it was just me and Wasif and Sober DJ’ing and we pretty much stopped in 2015, whenever I moved out to California. I just wanted to do something different, I felt like the underground rap scene wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, I could only go so far with that so I wanted to switch it up. Trash Mountain was this movement I was trying to collect in Fayetteville, where I was trying to collect all the homies who were struggling but good at what they do, good at the art they were doing, good at the music they were making, good at the music they were producing, put them together with the idea that if we all just take all the trash we have, we can build a trash mountain and get out of Fayetteville. I feel like only a handful of people took that model and built that trash mountain and got out, but I was one of those people.

Is Weirdo a thing of the past or does the future have something in store for you guys?

Yeah, I was talking to Wasif about doing another Weirdo project. I don’t know. I just gotta see if I’m in the mood for it but I feel like I’d be able to do some Weirdo stuff. It would have to be some super futuristic, weird ass music but I’d be down to do it.

How and when did you decide to make the move from Carolina to LA?

It was always in my head that I wanted to do it. Around October of last year me and my girlfriend broke up and I was going broke trying to get her back, spending all this money driving back and forth in this stupid van. Then, my stupid van broke and I realized my life was just going nowhere and I was working a shitty job as an appliance salesman, and I was just fed up. I had about less than $400, and I bought a plane ticket and just flew over to California in March, so almost a year ago at the end of this March beginning of April.

What made you decide to do the run of “Supreme Witch Pussy” shirts back in the days of you being in Carolina?

Oh yeah! That’s the money that I used to move to L.A.. When I first realized I was making super good meme’s because I hadn’t seen a meme get super big before, it was the Supreme Witch Pussy meme. That was my first super viral meme that was getting a lot of shares on tumblr and shit, and I was like “fuck I didn’t even watermark that one, damn IDK what to do.” I saw people were saying that phrase all the time and it was people’s Twitter handles and shit so I was like “Oh I need to capitalize on this before someone else does”. So I made like 20-30 Supreme Witch Pussy shirts and sold out of them in like a week and a half. I used that money to fly to California.

Has LA welcomed you with open arms thus far, and how has the experience been?

Yeah it’s been pretty tight! Since day 1 everyone has been pretty welcoming of me since I already had the internet presence, it wasn’t huge but it was ok on Facebook and Twitter. I had people that I knew out here so it was easy to just get around and network and meet people. Everyone’s just really cool. I don’t know. I feel like my experience in L.A. is a lot different than everyone else’s, it might be similar, I don’t know. I remember when I played Ham on Everything and did my Masked Gorilla interview that Adam had never heard my music before, he just booked me to play! He was like “he’s gonna be tight, I know it!”, and I was! So, things like that happen. People don’t know who you are but they like you so you can just do stuff.

Can you tell us about the first meme you made?

Oh man let’s see. I honestly cannot remember! I make so many memes and people show me them and are like “this thing that you made is so funny”, but I cannot remember the exact first meme I mad, but I know it was bad. I was really bad at memes for a while and I feel really bad for anyone who was following me back in the day. I was just trying to figure out what the hell.

14547813_1160207340729402_3956471659157782528_n.jpg

What was it like meeting your crush Erin Jeen?

Man, should I tell the story the real way of the Erin Jeen saga? I don’t want people to think I was some Charlie Kelly and she was the waitress type things. One time I was on the facebook and I had this idea, this was like a year ago before I even lived in California but I was still making memes, I was like “I wonder what would happen if I made memes about a girl, would she think that was funny or would she call the cops?”. Nobody had ever done that before! I completely forgot about that idea until I started following Erin Jeen, I don’t remember why, I think all the L.A. people were doing it, and she was like a girl. I didn’t know about her Instagram at all or anything like that. She had posted about people making fan memes about her or something like that, she had some kinda fan page or something, and I was like “Fuck that, I can make way better memes than whoever the hell made those memes, and you’re hot so I’m gonna do this idea that I had and see what happens!”. So I started this whole weird ass meme campaign. She’s cool and stuff, like I wasn’t actively trying to swoon her in real life. I had met her in real life before but I’m not sure if she remembers that. I met her at Emo Night in October, so I had already seen her before so I didn’t think it was super, super weird that I was doing it, but it was still weird that I was doing it. The first couple memes I made went off and I was like “ok cool”. This was good for both things I wanted to do, it was good for my music career, and it’s good for this weird experiment. Everyone loved it so much that I just carried on the stories throughout my life whenever I would see her somewhere I would just add on to it. And, yeah everyone loved it. I think the first real time we met – actually I don’t know! The first time we really met was at Complex Con but I don’t know if she remembers it because I was just standing behind her and I didn’t know if she knew who I was or if I was just a weird guy. Eventually she followed me on Twitter and she would help me out with memes that I was making and be like “How should I respond to this post”. She made sure I didn’t come off as a creep because I didn’t wanna seem like I was making it ok to stalk someone (laughs). I didn’t want anyone to think you can be like me and just stalk a girl for like 3 weeks, and eventually she’ll become your friend and come to you art show. That’s not the story I wanted to put out to the world.

You had your memes featured as an art show. What/how mad you decide to do that? And looking back on the event how was it?

I decided to do it as a joke because I was frustrated that people were like stealing my memes all the time and not crediting me, even though they are extremely specific. You could just be like “Hey, I got this off Ka5sh’s page”, I don’t know. I was like “Memes are art and I deserve to be credited because I’m an artist!”. Junior High commented on my post because I was saying I wanted to create a meme art show, and she was like “Do it!”. So I met with her that Wednesday and we picked a day for it, and she was like “Just collect sponsors for this show and you can do it”, and I did! The show was like, at first I thought it would be the worst thing in the world and stupid and no one would like it, but it did super well and there was like over 1000 people came, and people couldn’t get in, and it was raining so people were just waiting in line in the rain, and they still didn’t get to get in. I think that’s good! I threw the world’s first meme art show, and I got asked to do more, so that’s cool.

If you could choose, what are say your 3 favorite memes that you’ve made?

I would for sure pick Lincoln Build, because that was my first, well, technically second catchphrase that caught on because the first was Supreme Witch Pussy. That got bigger than I could ever imagine and famous people were saying it. Pete Wentz (from Fall Out Boy) wanted that on a windbreaker but I never made it. Second one probably would be the whole, in a saga, all of my Erin Jeen memes collectively put together because in my head that’s a meme in general, that whole campaign was a meme. My third favorite meme would have to be a meme I made for the art show which was “Reasons Why I Like White Women”. Is it because I like them for who they are or do I like them because they have a fat ass and Eurocentric beauty standards, and stuff like that. I don’t know how to describe that meme unless you look at my page, but I feel like that one was really artisnal, and the way I used Android emoji’s instead of iPhone emoji’s to make it extra black. I mixed the feminist format with the hood format and no one has done that before, I wanna experiment with that more. I burnt myself out with long format memes (laughs).

Most recently you created the “I fw the vision” movement which has gone viral. How did you come up with that and was there a particular person who inspired you?

Me and my friend Carmen were talking on the phone one time, and this was something I’d been tinkering with for a long time where I was making fun of, specifically rappers, that when they would take pictures of people who were more famous than them they would be like “Yeah building with the big homie, we up next”. I was thinking about that like all the time, like “how do I convey that thought?”. First I was gonna start taking pictures with random people and do that but then I was like “no one’s gonna get that joke other than me”. Like if I was to take a picture with a random Asian dude and be like “Building with the big homie, he say we up next”, I didn’t think anyone would get that. So I translated that idea when I saw the Travis Scott, the first dude I saw when I made the “When you hear Travis Scott at prom for the first time, he was the first dude who inspired me putting Supreme next to it because I went on his Instagram and found all these pictures. The other guy who really inspired it was this dude that was wearing the Supreme hoodie as pants, so I was like “this dude is perfect!”. So I combined all those things together and put Supreme on top of everything as like the final addition to the joke, so whenever I would make a “FW the vision” meme I would put Supreme all over it. For some reason people just got it, like, “This is the guy that does that!”, and then it just caught on.

What are a few reasons why you’re famous?

 Man, the list has gone up since the last time I’ve talked about this. Well, I did the world’s first meme art show, I currently beefin’ with Father John Misty. I met the Rock when I was little, so for sure yes. I’ve met Jack Black, he gave me a thumbs up, pretty sure he doesn’t remember that, but I do. Fuck man, I wish I could remember all the things that make me famous! I have a John Mayer tattoo, and I met John Mayer and showed him that tattoo!

Did he like it?

I can’t remember. Well, I remember what he said, he said “Yeah I made a lot of bad decisions when I was younger, too.”. But still, that’s fine.

You’re currently beefin’ with Father John Misty, how did that unfold?

It’s because one time me and my friend Snake Lively were at Whole Foods, and she made a joke about “Was that Father John Misty” when we drove past somebody, and I was like “Fuck that’s hilarious!”. I can’t remember if she was legitimately asking if that was Father John Misty or not, but I was just like “Ok, cool” and I ended up making that joke on Twitter a few days ago saying “Have you ever been to Whole Foods and wondered which one of y’all is Father John Misty?”. He replied to it, because I guess he searches his name to see what people say about him I guess, and he was like “it was a joke for yuppies and it’s a sure fire way to expand your brand” and basically shit on my joke. I know exactly the tone of how he was saying it, but I don’t know how to explain it as a diss, but I know it is. So then I told him to meet me at the Whole Foods in downtown L.A., and he didn’t show up. I’m still gonna make a diss track though because I think that’s better than making an Ugly God diss track. A Father John Misty diss track will go far. No rapper has ever just dissed an Indie Rock guy (laughs). I think the world needs to hear this, I’m gonna record it this week.

You just dropped your EP which featured the single “I’m Depressed”. “I’m depressed” obviously has depressed subject matter but is very happy sounding. How did you decide upon the creativity of the song and execution?

 It’s weird, whenever I’m cycling through beats Yung Skrrt who produces for me, he doesn’t show me beats like that I used for “I’m Depressed” because I’m looking for hard beats like the other half of the EP. That one really spoke to me and kinda reminded me of “Broccoli” by DRAM & Lil Yachty, and I was like “I like how this feels, but I’m not happy and I don’t rap about happy things” so I thought what if I just do the complete opposite of what a song like this would be like. So I started freestyling *sings “I’m Depressed”* and doing this weird voice, and Yung Skrrt was like “you need to make this a song”. I made the song in probably the fastest I’ve ever made a song, in like 15-20 minutes. Then everyone was like “This is gonna be a hit!”, and I don’t know, it’s not super big but it’s bigger than any song I’ve put out. I don’t fucking get how people are getting a million views, I wish I could figure that the fuck out. I tried hard to get 20,000 views. Also I gotta remind myself I’ve been making music for a while but this is my first solo project, so I’m basically starting over and this is good for a debut project, I gotta remember that.

You just recently took over the No Jumper Twitter, how did that happen?

It’s weird I’ve only ever interacted with Adam22 like a handful of times at parties and shit. They talked about me on No Jumper 1 time because of the Erin Jeen memes. Also I realized that somehow unbeknownst to me I became friends with everyone in No Jumper besides Adam (laughs). I’m friends with Robesman, and Cam Girl, and HousePhon3 and all those people, so everyone in that camp knows who I am. So they were looking for someone to make memes and content for their account and I was like “dude I should fucking do that!”, so I emailed them and Adam told me to text him and was like “Yeah ,do it”, and gave me the password immediately. At first I didn’t think everyone was gonna get my brand of humor and I was scared no one was gonna like it and the next day they were like “this is amazing”, and the account gained like 6,000 followers. I think that’s notable, you could that on a resume.

What does the rest of the year have in store for ka5sh?

God I don’t know, it’s so random. Right now, Vice T.V. show, that’s in the works I just gotta sign the contract for that. I’m pitching a show for MTV, so hopefully that goes through to development and that gets happening. I’m doing more meme art shows, and I’m playing a festival in September but that’s forever from now. Anything that I feel like I can do. Maybe I’ll make a movie this year if I feel like I have time to do that, or at least write the screenplay. I was inspired because I saw Jordan Peele was looking for scripts from Black filmmakers and I was like “Oh shit, I’m gonna do that”, but then I also tried to find Jordan Peele’s email address but I can’t fucking find it anywhere so I don’t know why that article said that. He’s not available to reach. Hopefully if I do write it, somebody know’s it and can get me to this guy!

GOOD.IS: A Beginner’s Guide to Meme Making From The Internet’s Best Artists

Like good art, good memes communicate with the outside world, and they also communicate a message from the artist behind them. If you want to make a great meme—a meme that resonates on a viral level—there is a lot to take into account: your message, your images, your text, how images interact with your text, syntax, timing. With meme making, all the signifiers need to work together to amount to an incisive punch line.

Obviously, there is no specific formula, but their essence and outcome are identical. A meme is digitally Darwinian, a process of natural selection that can’t be forced into viral consciousness—which explains why meme creation is extremely difficult (and creating bad content is embarrassing).

Like good art, good memes communicate with the outside world, and they also communicate a message from the artist behind them. If you want to make a great meme—a meme that resonates on a viral level—there is a lot to take into account: your message, your images, your text, how images interact with your text, syntax, timing. With meme making, all the signifiers need to work together to amount to an incisive punch line.

Obviously, there is no specific formula, but their essence and outcome are identical. A meme is digitally Darwinian, a process of natural selection that can’t be forced into viral consciousness—which explains why meme creation is extremely difficult (and creating bad content is embarrassing).

I tried once, in an isolated moment, to create a good meme after I was inspired by this photo of Nicki Minaj sitting on a bed. Nicki posted this in December, and it made me LOL. (Her posture and mood is ripe for memory.) Some have tried, but I failed. I must have been disappointed in the final product, because I can find no trace of it on my phone. I used to think I had my finger on the pulse of the new new, but I can’t make a good meme to save my life.

Maybe that’s what was missing in my memes: too much attention to craft, muddled (or dishonest) intent. A quality meme is part subversive form of protest, part meticulously crafted digital house of cards. The nature of meme creation is a lot like making good art. (In fact, a good meme is and should be considered an art form.) @KA5SH, the rapper and memer behind the genius “IFW with the vision / let’s link and build” memes is determined to make people see them as such.

His art show “By Any Memes Necessary”—which opened in February at LA’s Junior High art gallery to lines that that curled around the block—explores the ways in which memes help people cope with trauma and how they teach empathy.

The show displayed work by some of your fave high-concept meme makers, like @sensualmemes and @gothshakira, who @KA5SH says are some of the founders and pioneers of the long-form intersectional feminist format. You’ve seen these memes before—smart, stream of consciousness blocks of text and image memes intended to raise awareness and cope with gender double standards, correcting white feminism and broke art fuckbois. Most images below the text are of women-identifying cartoon characters or celebrities. Latinx-identifying @gothshakira has said that she uses Latinx women like Shakira, Selena Gomez, and J-Lo in her memes deliberately, to encourage people from creating content that misrepresents cultures that are not their own.

Memes are often created in iPhone Notes or with third party InstaCollage apps; this rudimentary format has become part of the identifying aesthetic of a meme. But a meme is more than just its visual form. As American text artist Jenny Holzer put it in a 1997 interview in The New York Times, art becomes good when you “rely on the artist's representation” and realize that “he or she would have no reason to lie. A viewer with a combination of sensitivity and knowledge will perceive that something is art and is good. Time also helps.”

Timeliness, according to meme artist @gothshakira, is a critical component: “In order to make a good meme, it has to be relatable and it has to reference real life experience, but it also has to have its finger on the pulse of culture.” It can’t look forced. Following these rules might help elevate your meme making, but there is more to it than that.

The Masked Gorilla: KA5SH IS A MEME SUPERSTAR, NOW HE’S TRYING TO GET YOU TO FW HIS MUSIC VISION

Even if you’ve never seen the person in that photo up there, or if you’re not familiar with the name in the title, you absolutely are already familiar with his work. Ka5sh created the ‘I FW Your Vision’ memes that completely took over the internet last month. Now, with the release of his new self-titled EP, he’s trying to link and build with you on his music. 

The 25 year old Fayetteville, North Carolina native isn’t a viral star trying to cash in on music, he’s actually been recording way before his memes were his calling card. 

"I've been making music, since, I'd say like 2012 I think. I was rapping under Ka5sh Ketchum then, and then I started this group called 'Weirdo' in 2013 and we were like punk and trap, like avant-garde type thing. Like a mix between Death Grips and Ho99o9 and then, just like 'undergroundy' rap type stuff. That was going nowhere, like, we started around the same time as $uicideboy$ and stuff did, and $uicideboy$ took off way, waaaaay, more than we did. I used to talk to those kids on Facebook. That's when they were on Facebook."

He was in the right place at the right time, recording harder, grittier, punk-inspired raps at time when similar groups were experiencing success with the style, but it never really went anywhere for him and his three man ‘Weirdo’ crew. At the same time, life was getting him down. Way down. In April 2016, he needed a change of pace and scenery. He decided to move to Los Angeles and crash with friends from North Carolina. 

"It changed my life completely. Just literally like, a hundred percent. Prior to me moving here, my girlfriend had just left me, I was working at this place called H.H Greg, it's like an appliance sales place, and I hated my life. I bought this stupid van. It was like super old, the exhaust was leaking on the inside so smoke would just plume through the engine and I was like killing myself slowly. Just driving that thing to work. And I was depressed as hell. One day, I just got fed up. I was watching 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' in the back of the store, and they were like why are you're not even selling anything, why are you still here? And then I just bought a plane ticket and flew out to live with a couple friends who are also from Fayetteville.”

But as is life, nothing ever really works out how you want it to. Within just days of landing in LA, the lease was up on the house he intended to live in. Everyone had to move out.

“The weekend that I moved here the lease was up on the house. It was like 'oh fuck now we all gotta find a place to stay.' So then I was just couch surfing trying to find a place to stay.”

He was technically homeless for a while, couch surfing and staying wherever he could. Eating whatever was available. 

“The first couple of months of living here I was dying because I had no money. I was like eating lettuce and going to sleep for dinner. It was the worst thing in the world."

Somewhere in that process, music became a secondary thought. And somehow memes and internet culture became the priority.

"When I first came out here, I was just like a rapper. I didn't even have an Instagram. I was like making memes on Facebook, for my personal Facebook, and my meme page that I ran with Versace Tamagotchi (Jack Wagner) and a whole bunch of other people. It's called ‘I play KORN to my DMT plants, smoke blunts all day & do sex stuff.’ I don't think it's up anymore, I think it got taken down." 

Ka5sh casually mentions the Facebook page he worked on while in North Carolina, a page that I later find out has over 130,000 fans. The internet meme connections he made prior to moving ended up benefiting him once he settled into Los Angeles.

“I met Jack Wagner in real life at his birthday party. He went to like a Smash Mouth concert, you had to be invited, everyone when to this Smash Mouth concert at the Grove, so it was like a hub of all the popular internet people. That's where I met Brandon Wardell and all those people. So I became friends with them, I think it just went from there. I just became more better at the internet I guess. I think like, someone told me to make an Instagram for all the memes that I was doing, and I was like okay I'll do that. Instagram is stupid. And I got like 10,000 followers in like a month and a half and just went on from there. Now I'm almost at 25,000.”

– At what point did you see it start to snowball, with your impact online, to where you were becoming known? 

"I think that just started happening recently. I had a whole bunch of viral memes, that I could never prove that I made them, but I know I made them. I think my first taste of 'oh man I can do something with this' was when I made a spongebob meme about 'Supreme witchpussy,' a word that I made up. That one was the first viral meme I made, and I saw people saying 'Supreme witchpussy' all the time, so I made a 'Supreme witchpussy' shirt and sold all of those and was like 'oh cool, I'm something right now.' That was like a little bit of it, but I think up until recently I don't think I was good at the internet, or cool on the internet, until I came to LA and everyone was like 'I fucking know who you are, I love your stuff!' It's weird.”

– Is the 'Fuck With Your Vision' Meme your most successful meme so far? 

"Yeah, yeah forsure. That's the one that I've seen people that I don't even know, that memes coming back to. 

– So how did you start that?

"That came from me making fun of people who are 'pseudo-creative' and I couldn't figure out how to make that joke, and then I remembered seeing a picture of a guy who was wearing a Supreme hoodie for pants and a shirt, and I was like 'he's the guy who would say that.' So I told Instagram that this is 'the new format' and then everyone was like 'okay!' and everyone just started doing it.”

Ka5sh alludes to the fact that before he was recognized for his memes, his work would commonly be stolen and he had no real way to claim ownership. Masked Gorilla actually inadvertently stole one of his memes last year.

– It's crazy, even before that, like you were saying you were making so many viral memes. I was posting them and I didn't even know where they were coming from. 

"Yeah you didn't. I made that Eminem meme." 

– I met you in real life, and I thought I didn't know who you were, but it turns out I did because I was familiar with your work, and I probably took it from someone who took it from you. It's just so crazy. So how does it feel now to get credit for starting that meme and you're finally being recognized?

"It's tight. That's what I've always wanted and want for other content creators, to get credit for their work and get money off it. I haven't made really any money off it except for the little merchandise that I sold off it. But, I don't know, I'm trying to stay ahead of it so I don't end up like Peaches Monroe. The girl who invented "On Fleek." That sucks, like she created the word that everyone still to this day used. Like 21 Savage just said "Diamond On Fleek" on his song, she doesn't get any credit for that."

– She recently started a GoFundMe to fund her cosmetic line. 

"Hopefully she gets that money. I have to check. But I think she may have gotten it. I hope so."

Ka5sh is being active, trying to stay in front of his memes and not get taken advantage of. But it’s still hard to squeeze a living out of memes by themselves unless you have millions of followers to use as leverage with advertisers. He used to be homeless, so what’s his situation like now? It’s better. He just curated the successful meme art show ‘By Any Memes Necessary’ at the Hollywood art-space ‘Welcome To Junior High. He’s paying rent through social media consulting for a major record label that he would rather leave unnamed. 

With one of the most viral memes of the year under his belt, having money to pay his rent and more than just lettuce to eat for dinner, the 25 year old is back to focusing on his music.

– So what inspired you to put out an EP?

"This is like my first solo work, I've never put out an EP by myself. It's always been really hard to write songs just pertaining to me, I've just been weird about myself I guess. I'm reserved about the actual version of me, so this EP is a real life version of me. I've never done this before. I've never put out a piece of work where you get to learn things about me. Which is weird. I have a whole song about my depression.

– It's kind of in vogue to be depressed on the internet, but it sounds like for you it's very sincere. So what do you think about the trend, as someone who suffers from depression? It’s kind of the cool thing now to say "I'm depressed" and "I want to kill myself."

"That's weird, see, because I get that question a lot because people are like, 'Why are you romanticizing depression?' I just don't know how to explain to people that I'm not, that I'm actually depressed. I guess they just look at me and it's like, 'oh here's a normal person.' My goal is to, not so much to normalize it, but bring up the conversation. Depression is real. People are going through this shit. You should talk to someone about it. It shouldn't be taboo to be depressed. You should be able to be really open about it. And have people care. Especially in the black community, we just completely ignore mental illness all together. So things like depression you just don't have the luxury to say 'yo I'm going through it right now.' I just want to show people that this shit is real. Not just internet people, but everyday people out there."

– On the EP, there are two polar opposite styles used. On "Hit Me Up," "I'm Depressed," and "Blame It On Me," it’s a melodic style, but on "Where Yo Head At" and "What's Popping," it's very aggressive. So where do those two very different approaches come from? 

"That's the duality of me. That's why everyone gets super surprised whenever I perform, because that's where all my energy and feeling and angst come out. Because in real life I'm just super nice and super chill. But when I perform, that's where I get all that stuff out that I feel. So it's really energetic. I wanted to showcase that duality in the EP. I'm funny and I'm nice. You hear that in "Hit Me Up" and "I'm Depressed" and "Blame It On Me" but also I have like another side where I'm just like 'fuck! I need to throw hands.' I don't know.

– What else would you say influenced this EP? 

“Forsure Lil Yachty and D.R.A.M. For that "Broccoli" song," I was like I want to make a song like that but I'm gonna flip it on it's head. That's what "I'm Depressed" feels like. It feels like an alternative version of "Broccoli." Also there's a "Broccoli" reference in it, because I feel like the beat sounded "Broccoli"-esque that's why I'm like "Ain't no telling what I'm finna blow off." Yeah. Also one time someone said I look like Lil Yachty and D.R.A.M. put together. So there's that."

Ka5sh is a meme-savant. But for someone who can help a random Facebook page called "I play KORN to my DMT plants, smoke blunts all day & do sex stuff" amass over 130,000 likes and make an absurd phrase like ‘supreme witchpussy’ go viral, it has to be frustrating not to be able to have that same immediate effect promoting his own music.

"I feel really suck about putting out songs because whenever I put out memes it's like 2,000 retweets, 20,000 likes, ok this did good. But with a song I'm like 4,000 view, that sucks."

– How does it feel that your memes are getting more attention than your music right now? 

"It frustrates me. That's what made me decide to combine them both together into one experience. To avoid that. That's why I made that Chip Skylark thing to incorporate both, then you realize that my music doesn't suck. I think that's also a thing, that people don't know that I make music, they think that my music sucks off the bat and then they hear it and are like, 'Oh you don't suck, this is really good.' So I have to like trick you into knowing that it's good or something, I don't know, that's the hardest thing. I don't know how to break past the point where people know who you are. . .I want to be a pop star. I want to be Beyonce. I have huge goals. I just don't want to be comfortable at just being good at the underground."

– Where would you say you see yourself in a year from now? 

"I would like to be where D.R.A.M. is at when he put out "Cha Cha." I feel like I should keep pushing "I'm Depressed" for a little bit, that could be my "Cha Cha."

He might not be as big as Beyonce yet, but it’s working. He’s getting attention. A lot of it. Some unwarranted. He’s unwillingly in the middle of what could be the world’s first “meme-rap” beef with UNMASKED alumni and internet connoisseur Ugly God.

We can barely get through this next part of the conversation without laughing at every sentence, fully self-aware of the absurdity of what we’re discussing. Indulging in sarcastic banter.

 

– What's the story behind Ugly God's random DM diss to you? 

"I literally still to this day do not understand. I keep thinking about it. I've only met Ugly God one time at F.Y.F. backstage, it was me, Lil Mayo, this dude Nappy Boy, just a whole bunch of random people. Everyone was talking, I handed him the microphone before he went on. So yeah, I thought we were chill, but he didn't know, I didn't introduce myself. But that was my only interaction I've ever had from him. And then he just DM'd me out of nowhere, I've never favorited his tweets, I’ve never followed him on anything. He just DM'd me that weird paragraph saying that I'm not a trendsetter and that I'm just a 'regular Twitter meme maker' I'm not a 'real meme maker' and I don't that "OC" is the abbreviation for "Original Content." 

– That's such a weird thing to say by the way. Such a weird thing. Almost like he was kidding. It's a weird 4Chan/ Reddit joke. 

"Yeah, someone said it was ‘copypasta’ but it would have been a very specific ‘copypasta’ so it couldn't have been. If it was a ‘copypasta’ it was edited specifically to pertain to me." 

– It was the weirdest message ever to me. So strange. So are you thinking about recording a diss track? 

"I think so, to retaliate, to show that I am the supreme meme rapper. Also because he doesn't make memes and that bothers me that he did that. Because most of his meme pages are just weird pictures and videos that he found. Maybe he edits some of the videos, I don't know, but at least for the pictures he puts on them they're just weird ass pictures he finds on the internet. So I'm out here actually making memes, I've been making memes for years, not just on Twitter. I don't know man.”

– It's so odd. It's so strange that we're even talking about a "meme beef." 

Ka5sh’s memes have caught on, his music is getting there too. “Blame It On Me” has a very refined sound, something you wouldn’t expect from his first solo work. “I’m Depressed” is not only catchy, but poignant, and has a realistic chance to go as viral as any of his memes.

The Hundreds: By Any Memes Necessary :: KA5SH on the Culture-Pushing Art of Making Memes

By Any Memes Necessary :: KA5SH on the Culture-Pushing Art of Making Memes

In a world poisoned by fake news, there’s only one remaining medium of truth left on the spectrum: The Meme. Pure and uninfluenced by the treacherous world that it exists in, the meme has touched millions in need of something to relate to. We had the golden opportunity to talk to one of the meme’s preeminent wizards, the young KA5SH placed on this planet in the vein of Gandalf to help shape humanity’s progress towards the utopian future that memes represent—one where we all empathize with each other [Ed. note: he’s the originator of the “i fuck with the vision fam let’s build” meme you’ve been seeing everywhere]. “Even though it seems so minuscule, sometimes I sit and think about a meme for days before I even make it because I’m trying to make the most relatable content that’s just funny for everyone,” says KA5SH.

In his first group art show at Junior High gallery, by any memes necessary, described as a “meme-centric art show about empathy and coping,” KA5SH gathered an ensemble of fighters to combat the darkness in the world (including @gothshakira—most artists at the show were prominent feminist meme-makers). The show was just over a week ago, and covered by both Dazed and Vice, but before it opened, we got a chance to talk to KA5SH about the divide between black and white Twitter, ownership in the world of memes, and where content creators stand in an uncertain future for the new medium.

2-i-fuck-with-the-vision-fam-lets-link-im-tryna-build-ka5sh-meme.jpg

The original let’s link I’m tryna build meme by KA5SH.

Senay: Tell everyone who you are.

KA5SH: My name is is KA5SH K-A-5-S-H and I’m an internet artist and rapper.

So you came into notoriety originally through your music. Can you talk about how you started in music and then how you went from music being your main focus to now your relationship with internet art?

I first started off doing a solo thing as Kash Ketchum and that wasn’t really popping. I sucked, it wasn’t good. So then I started a rap group called Weirdo and that was really cool we were punk-trap what we considered ourselves we were really avant-garde all this screaming and yelling and stuff. We had a good run but we hit a cap where we just weren’t getting a pass where everyone else in the underground was.

“I realized since internet culture was changing, people weren’t just looking for you to just put out music—they wanted you to be a one-stop shop for all the content.”

You feel like it had a relationship with where you were geographically?

Yeah, yeah, totally I’m from Fayetteville, North Carolina. There wasn’t a place for us, we were weird! We were all the weird kids and no one really got what we were doing. So we would have to travel far out of town just to find shows for us but we were getting kicked out of venues because we were weird and no one understood what we were doing... I feel like eventually I got frustrated with everything and just moved out here and went solo.

I realized since internet culture was changing, people weren’t just looking for you to just put out music—they wanted you to be a one-stop shop for all the content. So what I realized that memes were a thing that was slowly taking off. I saw accounts like Sean Kingston and people who weren’t super relevant but were posting memes all the time so I was like I’m going to get into this because micro content in between me dropping music. So then I learned that I was good at it because I was already funny so I kinda just started getting obsessed with it just the like high seeing myself getting a whole bunch of likes and all these shares that I wouldn’t normally get off of music.

Can you talk about your trajectory from when you were in North Carolina to now?

It’s huge, my life changed 100%. Prior to April [2016 when I moved to Los Angeles], I was working at this place called HH Greg and before that I was working at Sears as an appliance salesman and I hated my life, my band fucking sucked, and my girlfriend of 5 years had broke up with me. You know, life just fucking sucked. I realized I had no reason to keep doing what I was doing. I needed to make a change. Nothing good was coming out of Fayetteville. I had tried everything I had tried putting shows on for myself and everyone and nothing was popping off. So I had exhausted every kind of resource that I had so I knew that it was time for me to try something different. I remember the last day that I worked at HH Greg, I wasn’t even working, I was just sitting in the back watching Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and someone was like, “Why are you still even here? What are you doing? Get out of here!” So I did and I was like, fuck it, just gonna buy my ticket, and then I did.

So earlier you were talking about content. Does it surprise you that you meet popular social personalities who don’t make their own content or steal it or they just have other people doing it outright?

I hate people who steal content from other people who make it. Because this is coming from our brains—this is real life work for us, this is labor. Even though it seems so minuscule, sometimes I sit and think about a meme for days before I even make it because I’m trying to make the most relatable content that’s just funny for everyone. People DM me all the time saying these memes are getting me through hard times so thanks for what you’re doing. So it’s like making many art pieces and someone [comes along and] is like, “Hey, I made this,” and then they get all the credit for it.

Since we’re talking about memes, what is a meme?

For me, a meme is me taking a situation that has happened to me or that I’ve observed and since I can’t figure out a way to talk about it in a way that people would understand, I make a meme out of it and then I’m able to get that thought off or that situation off, and then I’m like, “Okay, this happens.” Basically all of my memes that I make come from real life—either things that have happened to me or things that I’ve witnessed and that’s where I create my content from.

I ask because I think with memes, it’s interesting as a medium because it’s something in relation to this generation, especially [since] it’s the only time I’ve seen open dialogue about ownership within art. With memes, how do you feel that artists should be compensated for creating them? And how do artists define that it’s their meme?

So that’s what’s been the conversation in regards to monetizing memes. Most of the content is from copyrighted material or stock photos or pictures of other people. But it’s stuff we’ve found off of the internet, so there’s the idea of open domain so it’s like, who really owns it? I can’t remember this artist’s name but he had a gallery show where he took Instagram screenshots—

“Even though it seems so minuscule, sometimes I sit and think about a meme for days before I even make it because I’m trying to make the most relatable content that’s just funny for everyone.”

You’re referencing Richard Prince.

Yeah! Richard Prince. So basically it would be the same thing that he’s doing. I own this now because it’s mine, and that means that I own it, right?

Do you think that memes haven’t been monetized yet is because of the lack of respect for the medium?

And that’s why I wanted to do the art show because I wanted us to be seen as actual people and not just coming out of nowhere. There’s people who are creating content all the time that’s being shared all over. And they have specific styles and ways that they write things so its mini, short art pieces that are being consumed by the masses. So I would like for people to take it more serious in the aspect of people actually doing their own thing.

So talk about your art show and how you curated it.

My art show is called by any memes necessary and its opening night is February 10th at Junior High in Hollywood. It started off as a joke out of me being frustrated with people not taking memers—I mean, content creators—seriously—

You can call yourself a memer.

Yeah, I don’t know what the proper word for what everyone wants to be called. I just want to be an artist. I think rappers have the same thing; they don’t want to be called rappers because they [think] that it puts them in a box. “I’m an artist, I’m not a rapper”—like they denounce the rap thing. I like to be a rapper. I was joking on Facebook I’m going to make a art show and put memes in it and people are going to call me an artist. And the owner of Junior High, Faith, hit me up like, “Yo, let’s do this I’m down.” And then I met her the next day, we bounced off ideas, and then we picked a date, and now it’s happening Friday.

Now that this is actually happening, I want to do more. So I centered it around the feminist meme accounts because that’s like a special brand of art to me. They are taking their emotional trauma and things that have happened to them and just making these long-form paragraphs that are able to be relatable to people and it helps people get through bad things that have happened to them and I wanted to put that in the forefront, because what they’re doing is crazy, they’re really smart.

I tried and I’m not good at that. I’m not good at the long-form meme format. So I got @sensualmemes@gothshakira@bunnymemes@scariestbugever, and @tequilafunrise. @gothshakira is the founder of that format and the rest of them are like the pioneers of that format, they’re the biggest ones. And then I got my friend @versace_tamagotchi, Jack [Wagner], because he’s super good at memes, he’s got his own style outside of everyone else that I wanted to showcase. I’ve got a good team of people to be a part of this.

A long-form meme by @gothshakira

So you want to move around and showcase this?

Yeah, because there’s different subcultures of memes. There’s “ghetto” memes, there’s memes that black people create. I want to do a whole show that’s black memes and black content because we are the content creators of the whole thing—of all pop culture—and I want to do a future show centered on the whole thing. We’re the reason why songs get popular. We’re the reason why people love certain clothes and hate certain clothes—we’re in control of everything so I’d love to do a whole focus on black internet culture and I’d like to do that next.

We were talking about monetizing memes. One way I’ve seen that successfully done is through merch. So can you talk about the importance of merch as a internet artist, as well as the merch you’re making?

Yes! Merchandise is like the most important thing because everyone wants to wear the moment that connected them with an artist. They want to represent the artist that they love. And I feel like memers should do the same thing... The only problem is I see memers making shirts out of memes and since meme culture is so fast, sometimes it’s not going to be relevant next week. So if you make a “Cash Me Outside” shirt, that’s funny this week, but next month I would never care about that shirt, and that would be stupid, and I never want to be reminded of that memory! Like if you tried to sell me a Ken Bone shirt, I’d punch you in the face. I forgot that guy existed until just now. He had a good run for like a week.

Oftentimes the real-time effect of memes comes and it goes. How do you stay on top of that and can you talk about moments where you’ve missed it?

I stay on top of it by constantly being on the internet—

How much time do you put into the internet a day?

Honestly, I would say 15 hours a day. On and on doing stuff and just being on my phone. Trying to integrate it into my regular life just so that it feels more [seamless] and everyone isn’t annoyed with me being on the phone so that I can document it. Yeah, I would say 15 hours a day. As far as missing things? It sucks because you get FOMO like that where you don’t go on the internet for a day and now there’s a whole new thing and you have no clue. That happened in the beginning with the migos memes for “raindrop / drop top” when it started popping on black Twitter.

Because everything is in real time. If you ever had a thought, you should immediately put it out. Would you agree? And why?

Because we all share a collective conscious; we’re all consuming the same content so someone is going to be sharing the same thought as you. And you have to be the first one to get it off. If you don’t, you’re going to be like, “Fuck! I missed the thought.” I was the first person to make the George Michael meme which probably wasn’t in good taste but it was funny as fuck. I know I was the first one [to make it].

How has the impact of someone like the Fat Jew [@thefatjewish] positively and negatively impacted meme culture?

I don’t like that guy because he doesn’t create his own content. Well, I think he does now, but it fucking sucks. Him existing [creates] other accounts like that because they know they can just steal content from other accounts that are making it and just build your account up with stolen content.

Who else steals?

@Fuckjerry doesn’t steal anymore. He credits you if you email him. @Daquan steals my shit. There’s a whole bunch of Instagram accounts who steal my shit like I can go on the explore page and just see all of my memes on there.

Have you ever been contacted by someone you’ve used in a meme?

The Hoobastank meme that I made where you have three Mike’s Hard Lemonades and a Hoobastank song came on? The guy’s wife who’s in that meme is like, “Omg, that’s my husband where did you find this picture?” And I was like, “I don’t know, I honestly can’t remember.” Because @fuckjerry retweeted me so obviously it got a greater reach and then she saw it. She was like, “I don’t even know who this lady is, I’m going to ask my husband.”

What do you want to be remembered as?

As an artist. That’s always what I wanted to be.

“They’re making ‘artisanal black memes’—it’s racist.”

Earlier, we were talking about the cultural differences between black and white internet culture.

Before we were talking about things that I’ve missed, and I remember missing these specific [viral] moments like the penguins that got caught cheating and Chewbacca mom, like things like that. And I was wondering why I kept missing it, and I realized it’s because it was happening on White Twitter and I don’t see those things because they aren’t good. So then, I was thinking about whenever white people get a meme or a joke that came from Black Twitter and they try to put their spin on it, it’s awful because 1. They’re late on it, late as fuck and 2. They don’t understand where it came from, so they don’t understand the roots of it, so whenever they get ahold of it they just make it not funny and awful.

Like I can think of the Pawn Stars guy who did the Bad & Boujee video months—it feels like months—way, way, way too late and it was awful. It made me hate everything about that and that’s what happens whenever white people get black culture—they water it down and make it not funny. They make it consumerable for them; it’s like spicy food.

I’ve noticed that. Another thing I’ve noticed when language is appropriated in relation to memes it’s always cringe-worthy. I think it’s a fair distinction to like something and then to want to do something. I have no problem when white people like black memes. When they try to replicate it, it’s very off.

It comes off racist as fuck, dude. When white people make “ghetto” memes, it’s totally racist. It comes from them making fun of black people and it’s not out of appreciation—it’s just you making fun of us.

It’s funny that you bring that up because one thing that I was really pissed about with memes is, like you know when you make a meme on an Android phone it looks mad different than a meme on an iPhone? Maybe this is anecdotal, but I think most black people who have smart phones have Android phones, and that’s why [black memes] look like that. So then I started noticing big popular meme accounts purposely filtering their memes to look like that. I didn’t notice why they were doing that until I realized, not only that that’s what black people’s memes look like, but more importantly these people want their memes to be perceived as being made by a black person. As a content creator, you’ve noticed that. How do you feel about those moments where you feel that people are trying to blacken their memes?

I hate it, it’s like meme gentrification kind of. They’re making “artisanal black memes”—it’s racist. I want to rant about it. That’s one of the original reasons I got into memes—because there weren’t a lot of black meme creators like in 2013. Well there were, but there weren’t the ones that were running popular accounts or getting recognized for what they were doing. There were just these white people remaking stuff or stealing stuff from black people and then just coming up from there so I wanted to get in there and offset that.

Do you think that the real issue is that we as in the black online community can see the money being made and know that it’s not coming to us? Like if there was no money and this was an actual public and free internet, it would be okay? But the fact that you see people like—

People like The Fat Jew building up his account off of black creators and black memes.

—Making tens of thousands of dollars not even counting sponsors and corporate dates—like is that the real issue? And why do you feel like those bigger business entities don’t necessarily reach out towards blacks?

That’s a million dollar question because we talk about that on Twitter all the time about how Ellen will pick Damn Daniel over the girl who invented “fleek”! Who has like 5K followers and probably makes no money over inventing that word that’s on TV and T-shirts and all this shit.

And Damn Daniel now has a lifetime supply of Vans.

No one gave the fleek girl eyebrow stuff for the rest of her life. She was documenting her making a word that people still use today. 21 Savage just said it, “Diamonds on fleek.” She didn’t get checks for that. She’s not on Ellen for that. And it just sucks because that happens to black people all the time. Since the dawn of time, building America, making all the music, inventing everything, and not getting any credit for it. Like, do you know we invented house music, man? We invented rap, we invented rock, and we’re not getting any real credit for that shit. And it also boils down to content as well—we get the short end of the stick. Even though we’re the reason that you like it.

In much of the way that rock and house music are currently where it is, do you feel like there will be a day where a black meme—whatever that means culturally—will have no relationship with the black community? Like how there are house DJs and house festivals all around the world and there are no black people, no black DJs—

Oh yes! I think that already started happening with Harambe. That’s an example of that. A black meme that started off as a joke with black people going, “Aww, my nigga died,” and then white people started doing it, and then it was completely racist. And they turned it into a joke about a black dude getting killed by the police, and they don’t care about black people at all. And it’s just completely fucking racist! And as a black meme being made by white people, it had no connection to black people at all anymore and it just kept going way too long. I just hate when that happens.

***

Follow KA5SH on Instagram @KA5SH and on Twitter @KA5SH.

Senay Kenfe   

Senay Kenfe is a bad writer, decent street photographer, and aspiring b-list celebrity from Long Beach, California. 

DAZED: Is 2017 the year that memes are recognised as art?

LA not-for-profit space Junior High teams up with meme-maker @Ka5sh for an exhibition that proves memes are far more than an internet phenomenon

2016 was undoubtedly the year of the meme, so it only makes sense that 2017 sees the internet phenomenon crowned as a legitimate art form.

Tomorrow, Los Angeles non-profit community space, Junior High, will open by any memes necessary a, you guessed it, exhibition dedicated entirely to memes. Curated by Instagram meme sensation, @Ka5sh (and sponsored by @sonny5ideup) the show will explore how the internet generation (aka us) is finding empathy and ways of coping through highly (often painfully) relatable, two-dimensional images.

Featuring memes from six meme-makers, including @versace_tamagotchi@tequilafunrise@sensualmemes@scariest_bug_ever@bunnymemes, and @gothshakira, curating it was surely no easy feat. There’s no shortage of both brilliance and absolute shockers on offer, with @Ka5sh revealing that his favourite is the Kim K format where she’s ‘dropping hints’: “That is the best and any remix of that never gets old to me”. 

While often criticised for a lack of attention span, our generation is using memes to understand, critique and share thoughts on important political and social issues – a way to communicate with each other via the internet’s ability to turn almost anything viral in a time where the phrase ‘if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry’ has never been more pertinent. And while the simplicity of memes might make them easy to shrug off, it would be foolish to underestimate their power of engagement – just as many other forms of art have done for centuries.

Ahead of the show’s opening, we speak to @Ka5sh on why the art world should start making wall space for memes.

What was behind the decision to curate a show based on memes?

Kash: I wanted to bring more legitimacy to memes because I got frustrated that no one takes what we do seriously. It started off as half a joke but I (did this) so people would consider what we were doing as art.

What can we expect from the show?

Kash: I’m honestly not sure what to expect, this seems like a meme convention. It started off like half joke and half me being serious. A lot of meme-rs are coming out for this so that’s tight.

How did you pick out the contributors?

Kash: I feel like everyone I picked are pioneers of the emotional, longest, feminist "woke meme" genre and I appreciate what they have done to the meme culture.

Can you tell us your thoughts on the connection between empathy and coping and the internet?

Kash: It’s amazing – I've seen thoughts that I thought only I had conveyed through memes on Instagram and it felt so good to know I'm not alone feeling like this. I just made a meme about hating emails and everyone was like ‘wtf! yes, same. me too’ and it feels good to not feel crazy.

What do you hope people take away from the show?

Kash: Hopefully people will see meme makers’ art not just as faceless content machines but as a new wave of artists in 2017.

Lastly, why do you think memes resonate so much with our generation? Kash: I think because our attention spans are short, it's super convenient to consume content like this. Also, memes are a take on pop culture and something that everyone can participate in, so I think that’s also a cool thing.

by any memes necessary will open in LA at Junior High on 10 February 2017. Click here for more information

VICE: There’s a Gallery Show Opening in LA That's All About Memes

A Los Angeles gallery features the works of seven meme makers, patiently waiting to get their due as artists.

The idea of art—to the delight of its creators and frustration of some audience members—is constantly shifting, switching and changing. But if the purpose of art is to beautifully express some human truth, there could be a brand-new medium boldly making its entrance: the meme.

What was once just a quick, visual way to tell a joke on the internet now wants to be counted as an art form, worthy of public display and analysis, according to ka5sh, an Instagram meme-maker with over 19,000 followers, and the curator of an upcoming meme-focused LA art show,  By Any Memes NecessarySonny Side Up, with a hefty Instagram following of their own, sponsors the show.

What started as a half-joking Facebook post (something to the line of "memes are so good, they should be displayed in a gallery") quickly became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ka5sh has curated a show featuring the work of seven different meme-makers whose work straddles the digital, political, and social climates within contemporary culture.

"I like to think that if you could make irony into a medium and use it like paint, that's what meme-making is," ka5sh tells The Creators Project. "There's artistry."

And like any art movement, ka5sh argues, there are artists who excel at different niches—many of whom he has tried to feature in the show. Gothshakira, for example, was a pioneer of the longform, wordy, socially-analytical meme. Scariest_bug_ever delves into mental health issues with a rarely-seen candor. Sensualmemes approaches the medium with a wry self-awareness, a charactersitc embraced by the art world.

Some memes—specifically the popular "self drag" starter-packs—are, arguably, a 21st-century digital self-portrait. Everything is there, even the signature.

The works will be presented as a physical, Instagram-esque representation, an homage to the social network that gave birth to the form. Each wall will feature a unique artist's featured work, displayed like a profile page.

The work displayed will be a series of memes already premiered online alongside brand-new content. Everything displayed will fall into the overall theme of "using memes to cope with reality," ka5sh explains. Ultimately, if the goal of the meme is to find some catharsis, connection, or escape from the everyday world, the only thing keeping it from lining gallery walls is where they're most often viewed—the phone screen.

By Any Memes Necessary opens at Junior High Gallery in Los Angeles on February 10. Find more information about the show and artists, here

COOLCHXCK: MEET FEATURED ARTIST: KA5SH

Meet Ka5sh, the self described Pink Yeti, Rapper, and Meme Queen.

Hi my name is Ka5sh aka Kash Jordan aka Kash Catchem aka Horse Choker aka Meme Princess aka Jody Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends aka Lindsey Lohans Twin Sister aka Hey whats up I’m kinda new to Tinder my name is Kash and I make memes.

Q: Tell me about your music.

Ka5sh: I started making rap music after I was doing some shitty band shit in North Carolina. I went solo and started playing acoustic guitar and singing songs by bands like Never Shout Never. I used to play at coffee shops and people loved it. They thought I was a comedian because I was so bad. A few people suggested I try rap so I did. I sucked at first but then I got okay at it so I got fans fast. I’m in a collective called ‘Weirdo‘.

I want to destroy basic rap tropes that promote violence against women. I’m not going to rap about hitting or hurting women and calling them bitches and because I don’t do it irl. I also wanna break hyper masculinity because we don’t have to be macho men all damn day.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

Ka5sh: I get inspiration from my self. I am essentially breaking down parts of me and making it into consumable content.

Other people I get inspiration from:

KANYE

YOUNG THUG

REGGIE WATTS

JADEN SMITH

DONALD GLOVER

TYLER THE CREATOR

JAMES BLAKE

BEYONCE

TEBO FROM ICARLY

THE MAYOR OF TOWNSVILLE

Q: Why do you call yourself a meme queen?

Ka5sh: I think everything is funny so everything is a meme. idkjjilrjklgknlgfkjlffb]igrrbigrrbregbigr

Woke memes are one of my forms of activism. It’s a joke on how weird it is to be “woke” in a party settings and you wanna dance but you don’t wanna make women uncomfortable because they just came out to have a good time and not be bothered. You’re not entitled to anyone’s time or body so you’re just chilling and dancing alone and a fine lady comes up and dances with you and it’s lit. That happened to me a couple months ago.

Q: Do you have any dope projects coming up?

 Ka5sh: I have a joint EP im doing with Yung Skrrt and Rude Thomas coming out v soon.

My first solo thing will be 80’s trap music whenever I can get that out of my brain and make it real.

My ultimate goal is to one destroy all systems of oppression via meme propaganda and music that I create and make everyone woke as fuck and also get famous as fuck and not have to work a normal guy job like being an assistant manager at sears or some shit. I used  to work at a sears until I got fired for being on my phone all the time. Fuck you deana for firing me.

https://soundcloud.com/weirdocoll

https://twitter.com/ka5sh

https://www.instagram.com/ka5sh/

https://www.facebook.com/kash.jordan.90